City action against landlord Spiros Zorbalas ends successfully with sale of all properties to a new owner

 
The City of Minneapolis has been successful in resolving long-term housing violations at properties owned by landlord Spiros Zorbalas, with the sale of all of Zorbalas’ properties in the city to a new owner. The 38 properties formerly owned by Zorbalas include 762 rental units, and many of the properties have a history of housing violations that affect tenants’ safety and the quality of their housing. This sale means tenants of those properties will have a new property manager, and the City will not need to displace tenants by vacating those buildings.

The City has been using its regulatory authority to hold the property owner accountable for providing tenants with safe, quality housing. However, the properties have a history of housing violations, with more than 2,000 violations in the last five years. In April 2011, the City Council revoked the rental licenses of three of the Zorbalas properties, 905 Franklin Avenue, 3725 Cedar Avenue, and 1830 Stevens Avenue. An appeals court upheld the revocation in a ruling in March 2012.

The City negotiated with Zorbalas to avoid displacement of potentially hundreds of tenants. The sale of the properties is one possible outcome that the City was seeking.

The City of Minneapolis licenses approximately 19,000 rental buildings, and in an effort to effectively deal with the small percentage of residential rental property owners that require a disproportionately large amount of City enforcement resources, the City has initiated and continues to develop new strategies to hold landlords accountable  for meeting safety and livability standards.

 

Published Jan. 24, 2013